Saturday, November 12, 2011
Publishing Credits...Putting the Cart Before the Horse
This is one of those posts I'm on the fence about writing. Partly because I understand eagerness and partly because I also get a little frustrated when I see too much enthusiasm and not enough product. And I don't want it to sound like a rant; it's not.
In other words, I've been reading about a gay m/m author for the past three weeks or so who sounded interesting. His creativity with social media impressed me and I thought his work might be interesting.
But when I did a search on amazon to check out his work, there was nothing there. Not even his name came up. Then I checked google, Kobo, smashwords, and goodreads and found nothing in any of these places either.
I started to wonder about this and asked a friend. It turns out this guy isn't a published author, a self-published author, and he hasn't even written enough to viably query an agent. He doesn't have a blog, a newsletter, or a pen pal. It reminded me of an episode of The Golden Girls, where Blanche decides she wants to become a romance writer. But then she realizes how difficult it is to actually write a romance novel and claims she has "writers block." That's when Dorothy replies something to the effect of, "Blanche you can't have writers block. That's impossible. You have to have written something first in order to have writers block. If that were the case, we'd all have writers block."
Enthusiasm is a wonderful thing. I can't wait to read and help promote new authors I love. I do it all the time. It's important for authors to build publishing credits, too. And it doesn't matter where you build them, just as long as you actually write something that people can read.
But I do fall short on patience when I find out someone is so enthusiastic they start promoting themselves before they've written or published anything. People like me, who have worked hard for the last twenty years as writers take this seriously. We know rejection; we know how hard it is to sacrifice long hours of our lives even when we don't know it will pay off in the end. We know what it's like to query agents and suffer more rejection in a year than most people experience in a lifetime.
So before you start talking about being a writer and promoting yourself on social networks, write something. At least start a blog and put a little effort into it. Otherwise no one's going to take you very seriously.